Looking for a unique location for your next family vacation? Then pack your bags for a trip to Portland, Oregon! Known as the “City of Roses” for its ideal climate to grow roses, this eco-friendly city is an ideal place to travel with your family. My sister, Catie Keogh, and I recently returned from a trip to Portland and I’m here to share with you some of my tips.
Known as one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities, Portland prides itself on its high walkability and excellent bike paths. That is why it is important to find lodging that is centrally located. For our trip, Catie and I decided to stay at WorldMark Portland – Waterfront Park. This awesome resort is actually a Worldmark by Wyndham timeshare property. Timeshare owners can use their flexible points to book a suite at the Portland resort, plus 220 properties located all around the world (we’ll have a tip for you later in this post on how you can check it out if you’re not a timeshare owner). We chose the WorldMark Portland – Waterfront Park due to its great location and its many wonderful features.
This resort offers 3 different style of suites: studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites that can sleep up to 6 people. Each suite features a kitchen/kitchenette for families who prefer a little home cooking, a laundry facility, and separate living/dining areas. Catie and I really appreciated the separate living areas that gave us our own space but allowed us to still enjoy each other’s company at the same time. Those who are not yet timeshare owners with WorldMark by Wyndham but who want to check out why the vacation club resort is a great way to travel can check out www.ExtraHolidays.com to book a unit at their desired destination in the same way you’d book a hotel. We also snagged a discount code for the site that’s good through 2019 for 15% off available properties – VACAY19.
Not only does the WorldMark Portland offer great suites, it also is conveniently located to many great family attractions. Nearby attractions include the Lan Su Chinese Garden, Voodoo Doughnut, Pine Street Market, and many more family fun activities. If you are visiting Portland, this is the place to stay!
While Portland may be known for its walkability, it also features some great bike paths. If you are like Catie and I however, you probably won’t be bringing your bike on your trip. But don’t worry! Take my advice and rent one with BikeTown. As Portland’s bike sharing program, BikeTown has over 1,000 bikes at over 100 locations downtown that are available to rent and are easy to use. Just download the BikeTown App, select your preferred payment plan, unlock your bike, and you are ready to go. If you really want to take in this city to its fullest extent, then biking is the way to go. Just remember to wear your helmet!
Related: If you are interested in learning more about other helpful apps, be sure to check out Colleen’s Big List of Travel Tips.
Portland has a number of fun activities for the entire family! Whether walking through a garden or rummaging through some of your favorite books, there is always something to do for everyone. One of the first places Catie and I visited was the Lan Su Chinese Garden. The perfect place for peace and tranquility, the Lan Su Chinese Garden features rare plants native to China, decorative stonework, and a tea shop that shows appreciation for authentic Chinese Culture. Sign up for a public tour of the gardens or check out their list of events that feature activities such as musical performances, art shows, food tastings, and martial arts lessons. Just be sure to check in upon arrival to secure a tour time.
Related: If you are interested in traveling to China, read this blog from one of our writer’s recent trips.
If you enjoy visiting the garden then be sure to strap on your hiking boots and head out to Multnomah Falls. Located about a 40 minute drive outside of Portland, in the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is home to a beautiful 620 ft waterfall. With hiking trails throughout the park, your family can spend time enjoying nature and take in the beautiful Oregon landscape. The crown jewel of these trails is the Multnomah Falls bridge, which sits directly over the second drop of the waterfall. If you are like me, then you won’t be able to resist a great photo opportunity of these breathtaking views.
After soaking in the beautiful landscape, head over to Powell’s City of Books. Located in downtown Portland, Powell’s City of Books is considered the largest new and used bookstore in the world with approximately 1 million books in a building that covers an entire city block. I really enjoyed reading in the Basil Hallward Gallery, while Catie enjoyed the Rare Book Room which included autographed first editions. If you are interested in a good book, then look no further than Powell’s City of Books, where you can find something for every book-lover in your family.
With all the walking and biking you may do in Portland, you probably will work up quite an appetite. However, if your family is anything like my family, then not everyone agrees on where they want to eat. If that’s the case, then you will want to check out Pine Street Market. Located in downtown Portland, the Market is the city’s first food hall and features 9 different restaurants. From burgers and fries to organic health food to Korean BBQ, Pine Street Market has something to offer everyone. Catie and I loved the ramen at Marukin Ramen, made fresh with locally-sourced ingredients. For those of you with a sweet tooth, treat yourself to a soft serve treat at Salt & Straw. The cubed cookie dough and brownie pieces are the perfect toppings! Choose from one vendor at Pine Street Market or try a little of each, just be sure to bring your appetite!
Perhaps you are interested in something a little sweeter. Then a good donut shop should be on your list of places to visit. Luckily for you, Portland is home to Voodoo Doughnuts! Known for their voodoo decor, pink boxes, and eclectic flavors, Voodoo Doughnuts is a great place for a sweet treat. They offer over 50 different flavors of doughnuts and can even create unique doughnuts upon request. Kids will enjoy trying the different flavors while parents will appreciate their clever names.
If you’re looking for breakfast, try one of their cereal-topped doughnuts like The Loop, a raised yeast doughnut covered in vanilla frosting and Fruit Loops. For those looking for a chocolate treat, Voodoo Doughnut’s classic Voodoo Doll ©, a raised doughnut filled with raspberry jelly with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Ring of Fire is a chocolate cake doughnut covered in cinnamon sugar and cayenne pepper, and topped with a dried, red chili pepper. But be warned — this one has a kick to it and may not be suitable for those with sensitive taste buds! Vegan options are also available for many of these delicacies.
There are so many more fun activities to experience while visiting Portland. Catie and I truly enjoyed our stay and look forward to the chance to return to this great city. With its eclectic culture and diverse population, there is always something for everyone. Just remember that while there may be a lot to do, it’s always important to stop and smell the roses.